If there was ever a time when we could relate to a group of humbled, hungry people wandering through an arid wasteland thick with poisonous snakes and scorpions, it is now!
If ever there was a time when our spiritual hunger was nearly as palpable as our physical hunger, it is now!
If there ever was a time when we longed to gather the many into one body, it is now!
Alas! It is the Feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord! And, it seems, we are slowly coming back to Church. But, oh, we come so hungry this year.
In our world of pandemic, we, like the Israelites, are afraid. Impending grief someone called it. If we haven’t already lost someone to this scorpion virus, we know that it is only a matter of time.
And so we hunger for protection.
We hunger for solutions.
We hunger for or people to love their neighbour enough not to be a danger to them.
We hunger for normal life.
We hunger for healing manna from heaven to feed our anxious hearts.
As if living in a pandemic were not enough, people are dying of hatred.
Like a cancer, racism is making the Body weak. So is sexism, economic disparity and a multitude of other sinful realities.
And so, we hunger.
We hunger for the members of the body to matter regardless of colour their skin or the texture to their hair.
We hunger for the lungs of the body to be able to breathe.
We hunger to be able to embrace our grandparents. Waving through a glass pane is not sufficient.
And we have been humbled by the fact that we cannot enjoy the Bread of Life as we once could.
The nourishment we took for granted at the Eucharistic table, has been denied us for a time. We are spiritually weakened. Where can we find the energy to heal the Body?
Yes, we have been receiving Christ “at least spiritually.” But we are a people used to touching our God. We long to take and eat, to take and drink. We hunger to be fed the Presence of God – Christ’s Holy Body and Blood. We desire to become what we receive.
On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we celebrate the gift of Christ as Living Bread and the Soul Quenching Wine. In him, our hunger for peace, wholeness and healing is fed. Our hunger for intimacy with God is fed. Our hunger for unity with our brothers and sisters is fed. In Christ, all our hungers are fed.
–Christine Way Skinner is a Lay Pastoral Associate at St. John Chrysostom Parish in Newmarket, ON. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Christine is the author of the Catholic Kid’s Library Series, What Catholics Believe, There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere, and the newly released, The Joy of Keeping the Faith.